Capricorn ♑ Ingress – Material Mastery


“…If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you…”

– Rudyard Kipling Sun in Capricorn

With just 10 days left of 2012, I am naturally reflective upon my phenomenal experiences this year. I scored two amazing paid internships, an all expense paid trip to Chicago, and ended up on a University of Houston billboard campaign! Believe me, things were not always this way, just as recently as 2011, but I’m proud to know that I’ve kept every single one of my resolutions this year through perseverance and tough but consistent work. What can I say? I was born with 6 of the 10 planets placed in earth signs into a lifetime of transformational experiences that now seem to be working to forcefully propel me towards my goals. Oftentimes our natal charts possess a semblance of whom we might grow into as we age, and what a wise and phenomenal individual the evolved Capricorn often is.

The winter solstice began yesterday, at 5:12 CDT which begins the yearly period of when the Sun enters the pragmatic, resourceful, disciplined, and ambitious sign of Capricorn ♑. Goals are the ultimate theme for the sign of the sea goat and as you might have guessed, it is one of my favorite signs as it vibes well with the abundance of planets in earth and water signs in my chart.

Previous sign, Sagittarius, and ruling planet Jupiter are associated with expansion and optimism. Capricorn is where we become a bit more realistic, maybe even a bit pessimistic. Yet, imagine the power that this fantastically grounded outlook upon might have! The sea goat is the last of the realistic and enduring earth signs, which also include Taurus ♉ and Virgo ♍. Depicted by the keywords “I Use”, Capricorns are often driven by a desire to be useful and productive while excelling in the realms of career, management and organization.

All of the cardinal signs [Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn] indicate seats of power and in a creature with the forelimbs of a goat attached to the tail of a fish, the abyss of the ocean is combined with mountainous terrain. This represents a ‘cross of matter’ between the psyche and its manifestation in the material, drawing the soul out of its collective stupor to confront the challenges of reality and individualism. The ocean, besides symbolising primordial roots, relates to instinctive wisdom, secrets, and knowledge that lies buried within the depths of consciousness. Capricorn, bearing only the tail of an aquatic creature, keeps a head that is free from impressionable thought – at a rational level Capricorns are affected only by what they can define through logic and reasoned assessment, but unconsciously, spiritually and emotionally they draw from the deep” [1].

Capricornus ♑ – The Sea Goat

Mountain Goat in ZooThere’s something about winter that tends to makes me a bit bluesy each year, albeit the most inspired. By now, many of us have encountered shortened days, the loss of daylight, and the biting chill of the upcoming winter season. The Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year. Sometimes, this frigid season can reflect our own state of isolation and loneliness. For some, winter can even be a bit melancholic. Nature’s beauty becomes seemingly barren and sparse as some animals begin to withdraw into their dens and hibernate. These events are indicative of the naturally introverted and self-contained nature of Capricorn. Some astrology books will tell you of the infamous loner of the zodiac. While it is often true that Capricorns are known for their reserved nature just as winter begins a phase of conservation, almost no one remains more committed when entering into a relationship. As a sensual earth sign, Capricorn is certainly no less sexual and beneath it’s cool exterior lies the great depth and warmth of a winter den.

The Capricorn temperament often tends towards seriousness and conservatism. However, looking to just that one factor would omit the lighter, often sarcastic and deadpan sense of humor that many Cappys possess. In my eyes, winter is a period of tremendous beauty as well. Yes, the trees begin to loose their vibrant appearance but as the New Year approaches we often recollect our experiences of the past year and set goals for our future. This is the magic of Capricorn. We become more organized so that we can maneuver the liveliness of the ensuing spring with a greater sense of ease.

Saturn ♄ – The Celestial Taskmaster

A stopwatch lying on top of a sports shoe, close-upSaturn, the ruling planet of Capricorn provides further understanding of this enigmatic sign. Traditional astrology deemed Saturn as The Greater Malefic due to its association with obstacles, limitation, and hardship. I’m not going to lie, Saturn can suck hard because it is equivalent to the hardest and most realistic lessons that we face in our lives. Not everyone navigates the blocks of Saturn with gracefulness, but when we truly embody its lessons the result is formidable mastery and power. If you really pay attention to your hardships, Saturn can also be your greatest ally.

The rigid, steely, and sometimes melancholy structure associated with Saturn is synonymous with the feelings that the winter season sometimes inspires in people. The 10th sign of the zodiac is associated with the bones, biological elements that remain long after the rest of one’s physical body. Some astrology books speak of the notion that Capricorns age well, reaching their prime as they become older and often have attractive bone structure.

 “Saturn is a planet of realism with a controlled release of energy which does mark the Capricorn as apparently lacking in creative sparkle and exuberant vivacity. As the Sun enters the sign associated with mid-winter, its power is low and the solar qualities of light, warmth, enthusiasm and brilliance struggle to emerge in recognisable ego traits and personality features. Yet the qualities exist, submerged deep within the character. The fire that animates the Capricorn’s spirits is gestating and self-contained, but not to be taken lightly” [1]

The serious, calculating and sobering influence of Saturn in a natal chart is often found in the charts of great businessmen or those that work in the field medicine. There is also the notion that Capricorns often possess a sense of maturity even at a young age. One of my very close friends throughout middle school was a Capricorn. Even in 6th grade, he always intensely spoke of his future and the things he needed to accomplish. Hayley Williams, vocalist of Paramore, was signed at just 16 years of age.

 “You often see Capricorn’s entering a kind of voluntary bondage in the early part of life, as though they actually wanted to experience this term of frustration.  It might be taking care of ill or ageing parents, or working at a job they dislike intensely, or embroiling themselves in a restrictive marriage.  Whatever the nature is of the restriction, there is a curious kind of psychological hair shirt which Capricorn dons for a time.  In medieval mysticism, the hair shirt symbolized the individual’s way of purifying himself of his carnal sins in order to prepare him for the experience of God.  Capricorn’s symbolic hair shirt is a kind of perpetual self-punishment or self-imposed labour.  Try to get him to enjoy himself and he’ll give you a thousand excuses why his responsibilities won’t permit it” [3].

Portrait of young US military officers in uniform over gray backgroundI’ve also examined a certain affinity for structure that is held by several of my Capricorn friends. This is indicative of a sign associated with governmental institutions, career, and even the military. Whatever responsibility or belief Capricorn takes on, you’d best believe that they take it very seriously.

A few nights ago, I met a Capricorn friend of a friend. The three of us were huddled around a table in a bar late at night as the conversation turned toward the military. Long story short, the Capricorn confessed that she’d thought about joining the military. There it was again, that fascination with rules and structure! There is something about this long lasting earth sign that relishes structure, responsibility, and being a pretty damn valid source of strength in society. Of course not all Cappy’s are emotionally concealed authoritarians made for the military, but it is a very solid expression of the sign’s energy that I have continually noticed. The influence of Saturn creates hard working, competent and mature individuals with fascinating powers of productivity. A Capricorn without goals and achievement is oftentimes truly unfulfilled! Then, the innate urge  to manage situations and people can spill over into other unwanted areas of life.

“Capricorn’s real place is out on the world’s stage, moving things in the environment – little or small – so that he leaves the place a little more organized than it was when he found it.  His gifts lie in the realm of organization and control, discipline and initiation of changes within already existing structures.  He’s often more of an idealist than you’d expect, in that he may have a vision of how to improve the world, or the small corner of the world he inhabits” [3].

House X – The Natal Summit

Businesswoman smilingIn addition, the 10th house in a natal chart is linked to the sign of Capricorn. Another name for the 10th house is known as the Midheaven. It is the last of the four Angles that I discussed in my blog posts this year that includes the 1st (Ascendant-Aries-Sunrise), 4th (Nadir-Cancer-Midnight), and 7th (Descendant-Libra-Sunset) houses. The Midheaven represents the highest point of a planet and the point of noon. In this house, the Sun is at its highest position and was archaically thought to be at a point of prominence and glory. Despite the older interpretations, it can be said that the 10th house is certainly what an individual makes of it.

“Planets in (or ruling) the natal 10th don’t assure us of anything. They will be prominent, but for what reason, and how widely they’ll be seen, is much less clear. The Moon in the 10th could make you famous. Or notorious. Your face could be on the cover of People magazine. Or the neighbors could discover you sleeping in the hedges as they drive off to work.” [2]

The Midheaven represents themes of career, public reputation, and societal status. As the northern point of the birth chart when a planet is directly overhead, it is often reflective of the potential rise of an individual in society or the public realm. This house also in indicative of how the general public might perceive a person. People with powerhouse planets placed in their Midheaven often find themselves in the limelight at some point whether they like it or not. If you’ve been close to a lot of Capricorns, you may have noticed their fierce protectiveness of their public persona. While they often possess a tremendous sense of ambition and desire for worldly status, these are still very private people.

 Teen rock climbing at Hueco TanksEvery astrological house has its secret anguish. In the 10th house it’s failure, the discovery that we didn’t make good on our dreams. I’ll never forget the chilling confession of one of my high school English teachers, the one with the impressive Jesuit education and the faint smell of alcohol always on his breath. He stared at his folded hands one day and quietly told me that his life was second rate: “I settled for a second rate job, a second rate wife, a second rate home, and second rate kids” [2].

“Even when it’s happening at a deep, unconscious level, Capricorn is planning his ultimate destiny.  He may be a nobody, someone who has to take orders from others, or work at things he detests which offer no challenge to his real capabilities.  But watch him when that term has passed and he’s released from his self-imposed prison.  All the while a powerful determination and ambition have been breeding in him, and an immense strength of will.  It might be a worldly goal of envisions – to run his own business, to make enough money to buy a piece of land, or whatever.  It might be ambition in a creative sense – to develop a formidable skill as a painter, a writer, a musician.  It might be an inner ambition – self-understanding, or something more occult” [3].

Mom holding two year old son at family reunion.Furthermore, the 10th house is linked to the influence of one or both parents. Traditional astrology saw the 10th as the house of the father and the sign of Capricorn in many ways is strongly linked to the paternal archetype. Of course, not all Capricorn women are automatically masculine but the typical ambitious and authoritative qualities can be found within them as well.

“She’s also smart enough to know that you don’t confront power directly; therefore, if she wants something from you, you usually end up thinking that you came up with the idea yourself, and she’s managed to twist you around with such finesse that you’re convinced she’s fragile and helpless and you begin to feel such a hero that your biceps begin to visibly swell.  Ah, poor soul.  No Capricorn is fragile or helpless.  All Capricorn women are born with stainless steel spines” [3].

Also in certain charts, Saturn provides insights into an individual’s relationship with their father as well as other authority figures.The Midheaven is a powerful house, profoundly linked with some of the most common and pressing questions that people face concerning their place in the world. Here is where a person can learn to claim his or her own unique sense of authority in life.

Capricorn  vs. Cancer 

Business man with hands over his faceThe self-contained nature of both Capricorn and Cancer is very evident. However, where Cancer is associated with family life and emotional hearth, Capricorn is linked to one’s public status and professional life. Since the 4th house lies opposite the 10th in a birth chart, it is indicated by midnight and the sign of Cancer which lies opposite of Capricorn. The 4th house or Nadir represents the foundation we establish for ourselves to fall back on in contrast to our endeavors into the public world.

Opposite the 10th is the 4th house, that midnight place which whispers to us in the dark, echoing with old, remembered voices that tell us who we really are. It’s these voices we need to examine and confront on the way to claiming our authority” [2].

Oftentimes, Cancer/Capricorn relationships result in a sort of parent-child dynamic. Being Moon-ruled, Cancer represents maternal, nurturing energy, memories and childhood. As we have visited, Capricorn is generally not comfortable with open displays of emotion and tends to embody the role of the stern and structured father or adulthood. In extreme cases, Capricorn can withdraw from emotionally charged situations while  Cancer can tend to become increasingly emotional.

Saturn , Uranus , Neptune , and Descendant in Capricorn  

Seedling in a dollar bill planterI’ve always strongly identified with the traditional melancholic temperament (I don’t exactly mean this in a depressive sort of way).  My Sun is in Taurus, Moon in Virgo, and Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in Capricorn. These planets form an aspect known as a Grand Trine as I have planets tightly placed in all three earth signs. Although it is not always evident (because people meet jovial Jupiter in my first house upon first impression) I take realistic matters such as responsibility and material security very seriously. With my descendant (point of relationship) in Capricorn, I possess an affinity for people with placements in Capricorn that are often older and more mature.

As the last of the earth signs, Capricorn’s reputation is centered upon it’s preference for caution, material worth, and sustainability. Yet, the sea goat is far from a sign with a one track mind. People often mistakenly view the trio of earth signs as unimaginative, but this would neglect the creative gifts of many of history’s most constructive individuals. While it is sometimes easy for this group of innate realists to become caught in the routines of tangible existence, some of the most transpersonal, spiritual, and universally enlightened people have been born under the signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.

“But in his heart he’s a builder, and often a selfless one, building for others with his immense skills and power of will.  It may take you a while to get to know him.  But beneath the often overly conventional garb he’s seen a lot of life, and hopefully a lot of the funnier side of it too.  In kabbalistic thought the symbol of Saturn was equated with understanding – profound, rich wisdom based on real experience rather than theories and philosophies.  It’s worth a little time and effort to be able to tap that vein of gold” [3]

Famous Capricorns via CafeAstrology

Dido Armstrong (Sun in Capricorn), David Bowie (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Capricorn), Nicolas Cage (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Capricorn), Jim Carrey (Sun, Venus, and Mars in Capricorn), Kevin Costner, Marlene Dietrich (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Capricorn), Mel Gibson (Sun and Mercury in Capricorn), James Earl Jones (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Capricorn), Annie Lennox (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Capricorn), Moliere (Sun and Mercury in Capricorn), Michelle Obama (Sun and Mercury in Capricorn), Jimmy Page (Sun and Mercury in Capricorn), Howard Stern (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Capricorn), Tiger Woods (Sun and Mercury in Capricorn), Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams of Paramore was born on December 27 1988 under the Cardinal Earth sign of Capricorn ♑


  1. Capricorn The Goatfish
  2. The 10th House
  3. Astrology For Lovers – Capricorn

Cancer ♋ Ingress – Home, Hearth, and Heritage

“I love people. I love my family, my children . . . but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.”

Pearl S. Buck (Sun ☉, Mercury ☿, and Venus ♀ in Cancer ♋)

The Sun ☉ returns to the introverted, mysterious, and private cardinal water sign of Cancer ♋ at 6:09pm CDT on June 20, 2012 signifying the start of the 2012 summer solstice! Each time the Sun moves into a cardinal sign, we experience a change of seasons. (Aries= Spring, Cancer= Summer, Libra= Fall, Capricorn= Winter). Similarly, people with an abundance of cardinal energy possess an urge to constantly initiate. For Cancer, motivation explodes from emotional convictions and a threatened sense of security. The airy and objective visions of preceding sign, Gemini, turn to subjective memories laced with vivid emotions in Cancer. As the first of the emotionally oriented water signs, the sign of the crab represents the process of navigating the inner workings of ourselves, and is characterized by the keywords, I Feel.

Skyscript tells us:

“In ancient astrology the condition of ‘moistness’ was viewed as the capacity to release emotions and connect with other beings. Moisture blurs the boundaries that define us as distinct individuals, allowing empathy, sympathy and a shared experience of personal or collective events…When we become too emotional the natural reaction is to release the ‘excess of water’ through the shedding of tears.”

There’s a fairly comical section of Mapping the Psyche that speaks of twelve people representing each sign of the zodiac waiting for waiting for a late bus. Of course, everyone is made up of the energies of different signs. However, the words chosen to describe the archetype of Cancer while waiting for the bus are among the funniest, but also the saddest.

“Cancer on the other hand, feels personally let down, and can be thrown into despair and a curious depression by the late arrival of the bus.Retreating into her shell, she remembers clearly what it felt like in her childhood when her mother was late picking her up from school. Her stomach churns at the memory, and she remembers clearly the feeling of abandonment as she waited, all alone, in the deserted playground at the end of the school day. How typical it is that, while she is always there for other people, she can’t rely on anyone else being there for her.”

The depiction of Cancer at the bus stop is a parody of the sign’s acute awareness of the past. Here is a sign that vividly retains memories and feelings, and does not easily bury slights against them. Despite Cancer’s connection to the emotions, you are not likely to always see natives of this sign wear their heart on their sleeves! Like the crab, they tend to contain their true emotional selves tightly wrapped within their shell. You can typically discern an evolved Cancerian by their gentle, sympathetic, imaginative, nurturing, contemplative, intuitive, nostalgic, and protective nature. At worst, the sign borders on being self-absorbed, insecure, irrational, defensive, overly conservative, and moody.

Cancer is one of the fainter constellations in the sky and also faces backwards, indicating the sign’s attachment to the past and common affinity for history and heritage. Furthermore, the constellation stems from the mythology of Hercules as he battled Hydra. Hera, sent a giant crab to assist Hydra, but Hercules smashed and killed it with his foot. In honor of the crab, Hera placed its likeness in the stars. As someone possessing Cancerian energy (Cancer Ascendant) I have always thought that this myth was very lame.

I stumbled upon an alternate interpretation of the mythology of Cancer derived from the Scriptures of Delphi. In this version, a giant crab named Crios was guardian to Poseidon’s sea nymphs and sustained serious injuries from destroying a giant squid that threatened their safety. Poseidon celebrated the crab by creating the constellation of Cancer. I like the alternative myth because it represents the trademark protective nature of Cancer, and its willingness to always fight for the underdog. Therefore, I propose another set of keywords for the sign, “I Protect“. Have you ever seen a mother fight for their child? This is Cancerian energy at work and also why this sign is associated with the concept of family. Threatening the home of, or people close to the heart of a Cancerian is certainly the quickest path to experience their wrath.

Cancer , the Moon , and House IV – Internally Focused

The Moon is the fastest moving and most complex of the 10 planets used in modern western astrology, and its constant phase changes are reflective of our emotions, habits, and instincts. Oftentimes Luna is also indicative of how a person perceives their mother, and the relationship that natives of this sign have with their mothers is often of great importance. As one of only two traditional planets associated with feminine energy (Venus being the other), the Moon and Cancer are linked to the breasts and stomach. Lunar people are often imaginative, creative, intuitive, private, sentimental, introspective and protective. CafeAstrology describes the Moon as ‘a mediator between the inner world and the outer world.’

Grant Lewi in Astrology for the Millions eloquently describes the nature of the Moon in astrology:

“Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears” are the thoughts of your Moon’s nature. The wordless ecstasy, the mute sorrow, the secret dream, the esoteric picture of yourself that you can’t get across to the world, or which the world doesn’t comprehend or value – these are the products of the Moon in your horoscope.”

Figuring out oneself is no simple process, and the nature of this water sign is known for a similar level of complexity. House IV is also known as the Nadir or Imum Colei, and is one of the four important angles of a natal chart. Basic astrology books will tell you that this is the house of beginnings and endings, and indicative of one parent, but the primary function of House IV serves as the internal and external foundation from which we journey away from, and ultimately return to. The realm of the fourth is distinctly separate from who we are in the face of the public, and is oftentimes difficult to put into words.

Native Sun in House IV, Dana Gerhardt, writes:

“Fourth house territory is what you find when, late at night, you close your eyes. It’s what you encounter when you’re all alone in the dark. Planets here lie beneath your surface. They are as deeply private as those in the opposite 10th are inescapably public…

Your family will be there, in your memories. Your ancestors will be there, in the rhythmic pulse of your blood. Your home will be there, as the secure base that allows you to connect with your innermost self. But you’ll discover even greater mysteries. In the 4th you’ll find your spirit center, your life source, your inner country of renewal. There will be times when you need to recreate yourself – and you’ll do this by descending into the 4th house first.”

In a more recognizable sense, House IV can provide insight into a person’s family or domestic environment. People with planets here often possess a great desire for security and are inclined towards providing a pleasant domestic environment, such as through cooking.

Cancer vs. Capricorn – Public Vs. Private Self

If you’ve ever been close to a Cancer or someone born with the Sun in House IV, you have most likely experienced their inclination towards privacy. Like the ebb and flow of the tides they are sometimes inconstant, disappearing to engage in periods of introversion and self reflection. Some may even tend towards being shy and awkward. Opposite sign, Capricorn is characterized by a healthy sense of ambition and the associated House X represents our public identity and career. Consequently, Capricorns may sometimes tend towards rigidity and emotional suppression. In relationships, this pair of opposites tends to polarize, resulting in the Cancerian becoming increasingly emotional while the Capricorn becomes more withdrawn.

Astrologer Hiroki Niizato explains:

“Cancer values emotional safety and comfort above all else, and will rush to the rescue if we’re feeling hurt or lonely. It will do whatever it takes in order to make us feel comfortable and loved (often drawing from experience of what has worked in the past to remove emotional discomfort.)

Capricorn values discipline and self-sufficiency more than emotional comfort. It does not like emotional vulnerability, and might even consider it to be weak in some way. It would rather show us how to become stronger and more skilled so that we can take care of ourselves better in future.”

Ascendant in Cancer – Ebb and Flow

I was born under the influence of a Cancer ascendant and I must admit that the is one of the more difficult ascendants to explain because it is so subjective and linked to facets of ourselves that often can’t be put into exact words. Sometimes it is a tidal wave of emotions, memories, and impressions. Other times, it’s the perfect extrasensory guiding tool providing helpful charisma and allowing one to find favor and common ground with people from all walks of life.

Stars Like You has one of the better descriptions of the Cancer ascendant that I’ve read online:

“With Cancer rising, self-realization comes through a sophisticated attunement to the feeling nature. You need to make sense of life through your senses and emotions. You will be gifted with strong intuitions, and even a psychic sensibility. You are likely to be extremely sensitive to the world around you and may need to recognize, and own, emotional realities. This means acknowledging your sensitivity, accepting your strong desire to nurture and support others, and recognizing how this sensitivity may mean that you tend to take on too much from the environment in which you find yourself, or become overly responsible for what others are feeling.

Although I possess disdain for the word sensitivity when used to describe Cancer and Pisces, I definitely feel that the Cancer ascendant produces a native who is very emotional, intuitive, and nostalgic. In the case of Cancer, the aforementioned sensitivity to stimuli is often properly contained within a “shell”. However, during those rare days on which I feel somewhat emotionally volatile on the inside, I remind myself to purge these emotions, usually through music or writing. Thus, the act of catharsis is incredibly important for those with an abundance of Cancerian energy due to the sign’s tendency to retain memories and emotions. Also, I can’t think of anything that motivates me more than when my convictions are birthed from powerful emotions!

Famous Cancerians via CafeAstrology

Bill Cosby, Dan Akryod, Princess Diana, Nelson Madela, Pamela Anderson, Kevin Bacon, Beck (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Mel Brooks, George Bush Jr., Bill Cosby, Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Vin Diesel (Sun and Mercury in Cancer), Harrison Ford (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in Cancer), Woody Guthrie (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Jessica Hahn, Tom Hanks, Anjelica Huston (Sun and Mars in Cancer), Ann Landers, Juliette Lewis (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Richard Lewis, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love (Sun and Moon in Cancer), Tobey Maguire, Princess Diana, Carlos Santana, Fred Savage (Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer), Jimmy Smits, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland (Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Cancer), Montel Williams, Robin Williams (Sun and Moon in Cancer)

Jesse Lacey of Brand New was born on born July 10, 1978 under the cardinal water sign of Cancer ♋